L.G.Elections:OGSIEC bars vigilante group from polling centres

The Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) has barred the state security outfit the vigilante service of Ogun State, from parading polling centres during Saturday’s local government elections in the state.

The electoral body also disclosed that 77 chairmanship and 569 councillorship candidates have been cleared tentatively to contest the council polls.

It said more candidates may still be disqualified, stressing that the final list of candidates would be released 48 hours to the election.

Addressing a press conference in Abeokuta, the state capital, the OGSIEC Screening Committee Chairman, Mutiu Agboke, said only the police and paramilitary agencies would be employed to provide security and monitor various polling booths across the 236 polling booths in the state.

Agboke, who is also Commissioner III, restated the readiness of the commission to conduct credible elections, saying election materials will be deployed promptly to riverine and remote local government areas.

He disclosed that there will be total restriction of movement between 8.00am and 3.00pm on Saturday.

He added that the commission was collaborating with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure success of the polls.

On the controversy and litigation trailing the conduct of the council elections, Agboke maintained that no court action can stop the election.

Agboke insisted that the commission would recognize the Chief Ireti Oniyide-led faction of PDP loyal to former President Olusegun Obasanjo despite the Lagos Federal High Court judgement which favoured the Chief Adebayo Dayo-led state executive committee

Edo Election: INEC did a good job – Issa Aremu

The national vice-president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Issa Aremu on Monday commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on last weekend’s Edo State Governorship election which returned the incumbent governor Adam Oshiomhole to office.

The labour leader disclosed this while speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily.

Mr Aremu said during the review of the election, Edo state has imbibed the spirit of democracy on the whole going by the kind of support, sacrifice and dedication shown by the electorate.

Also on the issue of whether INEC did well, the NLC Vice-president gave a pass mark to the election agency.

Northern governors caution STF over vacation order in Plateau villages

Chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) and the Governor of Niger State, Doctor Muazu  Aliyu has reacted to the quit notice issued to Fulani residents of Mahanga,Kakuruk,Maseh and Shong 2 in Barkin Ladi and Riyom local Governments of Plateau State, urging the Special Military Task Force (STF) to exercise caution.

The Special Military Task Force had on Saturday asked inhabitants of the affected areas to vacate their domain immediately with their property, citing military action in the troubled villages.

Governor Aliyu warned that the 48 hour ultimatum issued by the STF could lead to breakdown of law and order not only in Plateau State but in other parts of the country.

A statement by Governor Aliyu’s spokesman, Danladi Ndayebo said the forum is worried by complaints from a section of the region to the effect that the vacation order represents a declaration of war by the military against a segment of the nation’s citizens.

The statement added that although the forum is not opposed to any action that will put a stop to the senseless killing of innocent people in the Plateau, it warned that the region cannot afford the likely negative consequences of the order that the Fulani herdsmen should vacate the said villages without providing alternatives.

The forum further advised the STF to work more closely with Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State instead of issuing unilateral orders that could further worsen the already bad security situation in the state.

It said the current security challenge in Plateau State has provided the opportunity for all stakeholders to sit down and solve the Indigene-settler problem once and for all.

Oshiomhole calls for transparency in the nation’s electoral process

Despite claiming a landslide victory in Saturday’s  Governorship Election, Adams Oshiomhole has called for a more transparent electoral process.

In an interview in Benin the Edo state capital, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate insisted that the process recorded pockets of malpractices just as complaints of late material distribution by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were also rife.

While praising the conduct of all security personnel assigned to the state for the election, Governor Oshiomhole urged all other political parties to shun intra-party violence and join in the development of the state, saying Nigeria is greater than any party.

Prior to the INEC’s pronouncement, Mr Oshiomole had raised a red alert as to how the election was being conducted.

The governor, visibly disappointed with the delay in the delivery of electoral materials accused the electoral body; INEC of colluding with the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in an alleged attempt to distort the smooth running of the polls.

The governor earlier warned that there will be trouble if the true winner of the election is not declared.


Car bomb explodes near church in Kogi, suspect arrested

Multiple bomb explosions were recorded today in Okene local government area of Kogi state.

A bomb planted around the entrance of the Lord’s Chosen Church in Obehira area of Okene in Kogi state exploded killing no one while another vehicle conveying explosives exploded while heading towards the town along Lagos road.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) confirmed the explosion today in Okene, Kogi State, stating that no life was lost.

Security personnel nabbed two people suspected to be behind the church explosion before they could escape.

According to the Commanding Officer of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) in Kogi state, Lieutenant-Colonel Gabriel Olorunyomi, the bomb was planted at the front of the Lord’s Chosen Church in Obehira area of Okene in anticipation which was to come off when the church services ends.

He however explained that the explosion took place few minutes before the end of the church service which fortunately made it impossible for the terrorist to achieve their evil aim.

The commander further disclosed that another vehicle conveying explosives also exploded as they were heading towards the town along Lagos road.

He claimed the vehicle was planned to hit another worship centre and the driver of the vehicle has also been arrested.


Edo election: Four officials die in boat mishap

Three policemen, two inspectors and a constable and an ad-hoc official of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) on Saturday died while transporting election materials to Ologbo, a suburb of Benin City, Edo State.

PUNCH Newspaper quoted the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Olufemi Adenaike, as saying “two inspectors and one constable died; two policemen and one prison official survived.

“One INEC official also died. Only the body of an inspector has been recovered.”

Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, also confirmed the development.

Edo Governorship Election:Motion to recall 3,500 soldiers divides lawmakers

Nigeria’s lower legislative chamber, the house of representatives will today undertake a physical vote to determine if the 3,500 soldiers deployed to Edo state for the governorship elections should be recalled or not.

Tempers rose at the house yesterday after the majority Peoples’ Democratic Party members tried to shout down a member of the Action Congress of Nigeria who complained about the troop deployment.

The lawmaker, Mr. Bimbo Daramola from Ekiti state, had raised a matter of urgent public importance to draw the attention of the house to the troop deployment.

Mr. Daramola said since there was no war in Edo state, and that he could not understand the essence of deploying 3,500 soldiers for the election.

Fish out killers of Senator Dantong, Jonathan orders Police

President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday ordered security agencies to fish out the killers of a federal Senator, Gyang Dantong.

Mr Dantong, who represented Plateau North constituency and the Majority Leader of the state House of Assembly, Gyang Fulani were on Sunday killed along with over 20 people during an attack by some gunmen.

The incident followed the earlier gruesome discovery of 50 corpses in a church in the area. They were the corpses of members of a church said to have fled an onslaught by Fulani herdsmen.

President Jonathan, speaking through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, described the killing as cruel and regrettable.

Mr Abati said that the President had directed security agencies to carry out a thorough investigation to ensure that the culprits are apprehended and brought to justice in due course.

He further said “President Jonathan commiserates with the government and people of Plateau State and members and the leadership of the Senate on the incident.”

“The Federal Government is working hard to ensure that there is a check on impunity.

“That much was demonstrated with the recent changes made in the top echelon of our security architecture, especially with the appointment of the new National Security Adviser.

“We shall continue to re- invigorate our fight against terrorism and impunity and we are already taking concrete steps. The President further assured citizens of their safety wherever they live,” Mr Abati said.

Fulani herdsmen attack 9 villages in Plateau state

Twenty people were killed while several houses got burnt when nine villages in Riyom and Barkin Ladi local government areas of Plateau state were attacked on Saturday morning by suspected Fulani herdsmen.

The attacked villages include: Berom villages of Kakuruk, Kuzen, Ngyo, Kogoduk, Ruk, Dogo, Kufang, Kpapkpiduk, and Kai in Gashishi district of Barkin Ladi local government area

The attackers according to Channelstv sources were about one hundred and they stormed the villages in a commando style dressed in black attire with bullet proof vests and sophisticated weapons.

After invading the villages, the attackers proceeded to nearby villages in Riyom local government area where they destroyed properties and set houses ablaze but were repelled by the people who got information of the attack in Barkin Ladi.

The representative of Barakin-Ladi and Riyom federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Honourable, Simon Madwakon confirmed the incident describing it as unfortunate and barbaric which is coming at a time that all hands are on deck to bring lasting peace to the area.

According to the parliamentarian, he had complained to various authorities concerned over the presence of terrorist group within the two local government areas without any attention.

He said further that it was surprising that such deadly attacks could take place with the state of emergency in place in the communities. He however confirmed that no fewer than twenty dead bodies had been recovered while many more are still being discovered.



Kuramo Beach is closed

The police on Wednesday announced the closure of Kuramo Beach for one week in order to get rid of the hoodlums and squatters.

The Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Victoria Island, in statement said “We are closing down the beach for one week; a team of security agents will continue to raid the beach to get rid of criminals.”

A combined team of officers of the police, Army, Immigration and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) had reportedly raided the beach last week and arrested some miscrants in the area.

The DPO in the statement further said that the beach management and the local government where the resort is located had been included in the team of task force to clear the beach of squatters.

“We are raiding all the cabins on the beach. Anyone who wants to work in the cabins must be known by the security agents.

“After the exercise, anyone coming to Kuramo beach must feel safe. We do not want criminals to use the beach as a hideout any longer.”

One of the managers of the beach,who confirmed the raid,  said it will help the beach to keep up to international standards.

He added that the 60 cabins constructed by the government in 1999 for tourists to relax had been defaced, adding that some traders had constructed tents to distort the layout and aesthetics of the beach.

Acting IGP upgrades AIG Intelligence Office

Mohammed Abubakar, the acting Inspector General of Police has reacted swiftly to the recent spate of bombing targeted at the police force across the country by commanding the immediate upgrade of the office of the Assistant Inspector General of Police; an office in charge of intelligence to a management level position.

This decision was reached by the Acting IGP on Thursday during a security meeting with CP’s and AIG’s of all zones with resolve to give the required importance the department deserves to it so as to properly get rid of criminal activities in the country and to nip the war against terrorism in the bud which is one of the key importance of the decision.

It would be recalled that since the outbreak of terrorist activities and its spread particularly in the northern part of the country, there has been several calls for the Police Intelligence department to be revitalized, upgraded and made more functional but past Police IG’s lacked the will to make the move.

The idea behind the new management team is to ascertain that every move or strategy in combating crime and terrorism must have a proper background of intelligence gathering which requires so much brainwork and less force, which the Acting IGP also believes will strengthen intelligence in the police force. Also the plan to establish the Police Intelligence School in Ilorin the Kwara state capital has since commenced to foster intelligence within the force.

The Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Frank Mba disclosed that the action of the IG emphasizes his belief that the role of intelligence in effective policing of the country particularly with current security challenges needed an effective intelligence department.

With this decision, the AIG in charge of Intelligence at Force headquarters, Mr. Solomon Arase, has become the second AIG, apart from the Force Secretary, Mr. Dan-Azumi Job Doma, to belong to the Management team.

Suicide bomber kills 12 in Bauchi church

A suicide bomber drove a car full of explosives into Living Faith Church around Yelwa area , Bauchi state, on Sunday, killing 12 people and injuring 35 others.

Security forces at a road block nearby said the bomber forced his car through the checkpoint and drove into the church in Yelwa, on the outskirts of the city of Bauchi.

Bauchi State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Ladan, who confirmed the incident said “We have a checkpoint not far from the church which prevented the bomber from gaining access to his target…So he rammed the car into a security gate and the car exploded, killing him and eight other people. … Many people were injured but I can’t give you any precise number because the hospital is still trying to take a toll” he added.

According to a mechanic, Aliku Jon who witnessed the incident, “I had just left after the morning service and was out of the church when I heard a loud explosion. I rushed back and there were dozens of people lying in pools of blood…many were injured including two police officers.”

Reports say a suicide bomber drove into the church compound at around 10am and detonated his explosives as worshippers left the arly morning service.

Presently, the area has been cordoned off by the security agents who have blocked even the emergency workers from going into the church.

Our previous report:

At least 12 people were killed when a bomb exploded at the Living Faith Church around Yelwa area , Bauchi state, this morning

Bauchi State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Ladan, who confirmed the incident, describes the blast as a suicide attack

“We have a checkpoint not far from the church which prevented the bomber from gaining access to his target,” said Mohammed Ladan.

“So he rammed the car into a security gate and the car exploded, killing him and eight other people. … Many people were injured but I can’t give you any precise number because the hospital is still trying to take a toll” he added.

Reports say a suicide bomber drove into the church compound at around 10am and detonated his explosives as worshippers left the arly morning service.  According to a local newspaper, the bomber killed at least nine people, including himself, and injured 35.

Residents say  the explosion caused the church building to collapse, prompting dozens of people to flee seeking refuge, but some ran straight into a fire raging outside.

“There was confusion as residents and churchgoers tried to flee. Some of them out of fright fell into the fire caused by the explosion,” said resident Timothy Joshua.

Presently, the area has been cordoned off by the security agents who have blocked even the emergency workers from going into the church.